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Beth Robinson
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Bill Gates in Wired - "...the advances of science together with our emerging global conscience - may be the most powerful tool we have for improving the world."

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Finished reading: The Fourth Horseman by Sarah Woodbury

Great mystery series. I actually read all three in a gulp after starting the first one, The Good Knight, which is free on Kindle, and deciding I didn't want to stop.

I enjoyed the characters and the interplay between them. The first book had a bit more romance and the third was the most complex. The historical setting of medieval Wales was well used, not just set dressing.

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Finished reading today: Linchpin by Seth Godin

"The Gift of Emotional Labor" subtitle on the left page and the quote "Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator." on the right page pretty much encapsulate what knocked this book out of the park for me.

I'd actually been avoiding reading this one, although I've enjoyed, learned from, and been inspired by other Godin books. The subtitle just kind of put me off for some odd reason. The book is about solving interesting problems and leading - and in the process becoming more valuable to your employer and having a lot of fun at work. 

I recommend it. And it resonated more with me personally than The Icarus Deception.

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Finished reading today: William Shakespeare's Star Wars

I was delighted by the extra asides, especially of R2-D2, that fit in with the format of a play but would not have with a movie. I was amused by the incorporation of some familiar quotes from both sides.

I was disappointed by the simplicity of the overall language. It just didn't have the depth and density of Shakespeare, which would, admittedly, have been extremely hard to reach. Just thinking of getting all the iambic pentameter fit makes my head hurt.

Mostly though, it was fun! A great mash-up that took a lot of love and I'm thrilled Lucas and Doescher did. I hope Disney will encourage The Empire Striketh Back... And I  would love to see this staged and played.

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Finished reading today: Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

The book was decent but not exceptional. They described the types of leadership and situations where they might be effective, highlighted the value of self-directed learning for making leaders, and discussed the challenges of implement change on an organizational instead of an individual level.

I found the key concept in the middle section to be a nice model...

The five discoveries of self-directed learning:
1 - Who do I want to be?
2 - Who am I actually right now?
3 - How do I build on my strengths while reducing my gaps?
4 - Experiment with new thoughts and actions
5 - Develop trusting relationships

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"The route to a high-trust organization is through its people. That route starts not with corporate policies per se, but with human interactions." - Charles H. Green

While this is important for any industry or business, I feel that in the scientific and technical industries trust is sometimes assumed to be supported by specifications and data and such information. Those do help. But savvy buyers, consumers, and general citizens realize that such things can be manipulated. It's still about the people.

Saw Star Trek: Into Darkness today. It was good and yet somewhat disappointing.

I liked the portrayal of Khan. I really enjoyed the interplay with Kirk and how Kirk could have made many of the same choices under the same circumstances. There were many good scenes and character interactions. The overall plot was a good story.

But that one scene. The writers made a mirror where they should have made an echo. The other echoes of the previous incarnation of Star Trek were good and appreciated, but this was just a reflection. There had to have been a way to do that to get the emotional resonances without being so darn obvious.

Ah, well. We'll see where they go from here, presuming they continue with this cast/reality.

"The point is this: When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they're mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity dominates our worldview." - from the introduction to Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

I've only just begun reading this book and this line really caught my attention.

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This morning my father-in-law and I built this train track for my daughter to play with by combining many differnt Chuggington sets. I had a lot of fun building up and down in spirals and connecting sections. More pics from different angles at http://bethrobinson.me/blog/2013/3/2/chuggington
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